HCC enhances processes to assure student success

Aug 27, 2015

As Houston Community College continues to transform to meet the changing demands of the workforce of the future, Dr. Cesar Maldonado, chancellor, has tasked each president with making substantive change to six major processes within the institution.

“Each of the presidents at HCC is chairing a team from across the district to improve procedures that will enhance services for our students,” said Dr. Maldonado. “By reviewing current processes, touring other institutions to learn of their best practices, and involving students, faculty, administrations and staff from all levels, the goal is to implement these new procedures as early as January 2016.”

HCC is operating under the Center of Excellence model which has created 12 unique divisions that support many of Houston’s major industries and businesses while still providing academic transfer courses for those who plan to continue on to a four year degree. These enhanced processes will assure students have the support they need as they progress from beginning to completion of their certificate or degree no matter where they are attending classes.

The areas that are being examined and refined include:

Admissions and Registration

The first step to a college education is the Admissions and Registration process. Success comes from having easily accessible and navigable processes in place to assure student success.

Dr. Zach Hodges, president of Northwest College, and his district-wide team are focusing on reviewing all admissions and enrollment practices to develop business process improvements. This team is mapping the total experience and hope to identify any barriers and develop procedures to enhance the student experience.

Career Advising

Having begun her career as a counselor, Dr. Fena Garza, president at Southwest College, heads the group reviewing Career Advising. The goal of this team is to streamline the advising process with greater focus on how to best direct students if they are in general or specialized studies, prefer online classes, not quite ready for a full college load, want transfer credit, or are headed to the workforce.

“Our guiding mantra in this process is ‘does this advance student success?’,” said Dr. Garza. “We are looking at streamlining processes for all students – new, returning, online, and workforce.” 

New Student Orientation

Defining a desire to better meet all needs of students throughout the orientation process has been broken down into four categories, according to Dr. William Harmon, president of Central College, who is coordinating this work group.  

“HCC is looking at the structure, content, logistics and a total assessment of the new student orientation process,” said Dr. Harmon. “Through this appraisal process, we are able to build a structure that will introduce our students to the programs and services of HCC that support the global economy of tomorrow and the future.” 

Early Alert

HCC recognizes that when students get help early in their college career, they will be more successful.  

When they appear to be missing too many classes, fall below potential, or lose ground, the Early Alert system comes in to play. Through advising, counseling and appropriate support from faculty and staff, success is more likely. Dr. Phillip Nicotera, president of Coleman College, where the Early Alert system is already in place, is chair of this project. 

Learning Support

Dr. Margaret Ford Fisher, president at Northeast College has convened a group to explore and define the best ways for both active and passive learners to receive information. Through examination of these learning methodologies, the team hopes to create a more structured system of support for students and faculty.  

“We can define students as active and passive learners,” said Dr. Ford Fisher. “We must focus on the differences in these learning styles to meet their needs in every way possible.”  

Mapping Discipline Adjacencies

Southeast College Interim President Dr. Rudy Soliz is leading the team to determine where there are intersections for different program areas that can create new pathways for student success. Examples include combining Fashion Design and 3-D imaging for pattern design; Chemistry and Culinary Arts for gourmet delights; and Welding, Art and Entrepreneurship for small business success. 

“Our goal is to support student success,” said Dr. Soliz. “We believe sodding is a short cut, but seeding is not. We will continue to seed.” 

Broadcasts of the program updates will take place on the first Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. and are livestreamed at www.hccs.edu/livestream.  Coming dates are September 2, October 7, November 4 and December 2. 

For more information or to see past presentations, please go to www.hccs.edu/transformations.  


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